Microsoft SharePoint, soon be available with the new 2016 edition, is widely used as a corporate business collaboration platform to connect and empower people, and share documents and data. To make full advantage of the features provided, SharePoint external data integration is a must-have. SharePoint as a data island could never release the potential benefits. Well known and top-rated since many years, the Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint (BDLC) solves many issues and overcomes limitations that still exist with out-of-the-box external data integration in SharePoint. Now version 7 comes with support for 100+ data sources, additional authentication methods, and support for the upcoming new Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016.
Quickly connect 100+ data sources and applications to SharePoint lists
“With the Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint it is not only about surfacing data in SharePoint, it’s about much deeper integration. The BDLC connects external data to native SharePoint lists, e.g. contacts, tasks, events or custom lists to synchronize data changes in background. This straightforward concept makes all of the powerful SharePoint list features available for external data - without any restrictions”, Frank Daske, Product Manager at Layer2, explains the benefits of the app.
No programming, tools or data source modifications are required to connect. The app can easily be configured in the SharePoint general list settings dialog with just a few simple settings, such as a connection provider, connection string and a common data query. Version 7 now supports 100+ common corporate data sources, e.g. databases like Microsoft SQL Server and SQL Azure, MySQL, Oracle, Informix, IBM DB2, AS/400, Files like Excel, Access or CSV/XML, applications like Active Directory, Exchange or SharePoint (on-premise or cloud-based), ERP/CRM systems like SAP, Navision, Dynamics ERP/CRM. It also comes with support for cloud-based services like Salesforce, RSS/Atom feeds, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and Amazon. Generic provider like ODBC, OLEDB, OData, SOAP or custom .NET-based providers are also supported.
The pre-selected data can be populated to the list and presented with the familiar UI and navigation features of native SharePoint lists: Views, sorting and grouping, filters, and calculated fields. Lookup relationships, managed meta data or attachments can be assigned as usual for SharePoint lists. The BDLC extends the SharePoint collaboration, search and knowledge management capabilities as well as the Office user experience to completely include external line of business data and processes. In addition, it highly simplifies the SharePoint platform architecture, increases performance and can save license costs: SharePoint users work with native SharePoint lists as some kind of “data cache” of the original external data and do not need to access the data sources and applications directly.
Start workflows in SharePoint to take business actions on external data change
The connected SharePoint lists can be updated manually on demand using the SharePoint ribbon, the API, or automatically scheduled in background, using a common SharePoint timer job. List item change notifications per RSS or email and even workflows can be established as usual to take business actions in SharePoint when external data items are changed. For example the Layer2 Business Data List Connector can be used to implement a sales dashboard application, which empowers end users to gain insight into the underlying ERP or CRM data in a reusable way, e.g. with aggregations and transformations and quickly being notified in case of changes. A write-back to data source feature can be enabled for bi-directional synchronization or data acquisition, if required. While out-of-the-box data integration is very limited in terms of data amount, the BDLC is designed to manage 100.000 items and more with high performance.
Free Shareware Edition to download after registration
The Layer2 Business Data List Connector for SharePoint is available for all SharePoint Server on-premises versions and editions including SharePoint Foundation. Prospects can register and download a free Shareware Edition at the vendor’s product pages.
Partner program for resellers and implementation partners
Layer2 SharePoint apps are successfully used by small, mid-sized, and larger companies and organizations around the world like The Coca-Cola Company, Bauer Inc, IBM, Deloite, the US Defense Department, NATO, United Nations, leading banking groups and insurance agencies. A cost-free partner program was launched to better support resellers and local implementation partners. Registered partners receive up to 30% commission for each sale. Additionally partners can receive qualified leads, a free NFR Edition for internal use and priority support to jump-start their SharePoint projects.
As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and ISV based in Hamburg (Germany), Layer2 is one of the leading providers of Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, and Azure apps in Europe with a major focus on Data Integration, Collaborative Knowledge Management, Social Networking and Cloud Computing. Layer2 has also been known as a reliable partner to customers in Central Europe, offering additional consulting and services in the fields of SharePoint, .NET programming and IT infrastructure for more than 20 years.